This page addresses follow-up questions and additional information pertinent to our webinar
Diabetes and Wound Care.
** The coding information and guidance are valid at the time of publishing. Learners are encouraged to research
subsequent official guidance in the areas associated with the topic as they can change rapidly.

Q:  What is the Wagner Classification scale? 
A:  That’s a tool used for assessing the depth of ulcers and the presence or absence of osteomyelitis or gangrene​

  • I’ve mostly seen this classification from podiatrists​.
  • Based on wound depth and has 6 wound grades but doesn’t take into consideration infected or ischemic wounds​.
  • Check with your payer – some payers want to see the wagner classification scale used to describe the ulcers if the patient needs HBO.
Q:  How is it coded when the provider just documents a wound?
A:  That’s a big problem in wound care coding – providers use the word “wound” when they mean an ulcer.  Unfortunately, if you have a provider that is using the terminology “open wound” – that’s what you’re going to have to code.  You’ll index wound, open, and then the site and probably end up with an “S” code.   I would recommend educating your providers.  Let them know that if they’re calling an ulcer a wound and never mention the word “ulcer”, it’s going to be reported as an open wound.  Hopefully, that will help.​

Q:  How do you code a wet to dry dressing? 
A:   A wet to dry dressing is a non-selective debridement technique and it’s coded with 97602.  That 97602 is also the code you’d use if an autolytic debridement or maggot therapy is done.​

Looking for additional information on this topic?

Terri Reid, CCS, CCS-P, CDIP, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer

Terri Reid, CCS, CCS-P, CDIP, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer

Senior Coding Quality Auditor

Terri comes to Haugen group with 25+ years of health information management experience in coding, auditing and education. She spent a number of years volunteering as an EMT and working in an Emergency Department before she transitioned into a career coding ED records. It wasn’t long before she was trained to code SDS and IP records eventually using her clinical background to help pioneer a concurrent query program at a level I trauma facility in the northeast. With the implementation of ICD-10, she helped develop coding protocols as well as provide education to physicians on the impact of their documentation.


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